Category: Material and Tool Information

  • A Guide to Our American-Made Stained Glass

    A Guide to Our American-Made Stained Glass

    Our Stained Glass is proudly made in the U.S.A. by Youghiogheny Glass located in western Pennsylvania. In addition to making their own branded line of glass of different types, Youghiogheny Glass also manufacturers the Uroboros and Oceana brands, and they own the rights to other brands of glass that might be produced in the future.

    This article explains the different brands and types of stained glass made by Youghiogheny and how their part numbers have code letters for the different varieties.

  • Increasing the Working Time of Mosaic Adhesives

    Increasing the Working Time of Mosaic Adhesives

    Although it is easier to create a mosaic using a temporary surface which allows you to make edits before gluing anything, many artists prefer to work directly on the backer and glue one tile at a time.

    The key for making the one-at-time (direct) method work is to increase the working time of the mosaic adhesive by slowing its drying time.

    The easiest way to do this is to keep a humidifier running next to your workstation, the closer the better.

  • Weldbond Mosaic Tile  Adhesive Outdoors?

    Weldbond Mosaic Tile Adhesive Outdoors?

    Weldbond is a PVA (poly vinyl acetate) adhesive that is the best all-around adhesive for dry indoor mosaic projects and craft projects. It is water based, nontoxic, fume free, archival, easy to clean up, and water resistant when fully cured.

    Note that Weldbond is water resistant and not waterproof. There is a significant amount of difference between being water resistant and being waterproof.

    That is why our online instructional pages and blog articles always restrict the use of Weldbond for dry indoor projects.

  • Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Artist Brad Srebnik’s mosaic street number plaque is worth taking a look at for several reasons. It has a harmonious color scheme with good warm-cool contrast, it’s tightly executed, and the numerals have crisp outlines and subtle curves in a distinct font style.

    If you are thinking about a project with mosaic numerals or letters with any kind of calligraphy or distinctive font, this mosaic has a lot to show you.

    Brad also did a good job photographing the work in progress, including the method he used for mounting the hanging wire.

  • Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    For better glass mosaic images, tiny incidental gaps are the way to go. Just forget about grouting and fit the glass as tightly as possible.

    Or better yet, cut the pieces less precisely and use the slight errors in shapes to form an incidental grout gap.

    I highly recommend this latter mode of working because you focus on the visual and make better art instead of getting frustrated trying to cut precise shapes.

  • Nonstandard Method for Removing Mortar in Gaps

    Nonstandard Method for Removing Mortar in Gaps

    Natalija reminded me that she used her cordless drill with a mesh disc to remove the hardened mortar, and that cordless rechargeable tools exist.

    Either we didn’t have cordless rechargeable tools on my home planet, or I was having a stress-induced boomer episode yesterday.

    One of those two things is true, maybe both.

  • Entranceway Mosaic: How to Use Grids, Mesh, Tape, and Thinset

    Entranceway Mosaic: How to Use Grids, Mesh, Tape, and Thinset

    Natalija recently created an entranceway mosaic as one of the final projects in the renovation of her new home.

    She did a great job photo documenting the process step by step, including some serious mistakes/missteps, and that is why I am eager to share it.

    Also, the mosaic itself looks good and was well executed.

  • Tough Outdoor Mosaic Backer

    Tough Outdoor Mosaic Backer

    The thinnest, toughest, most water-resistant backer I have been able to make is steel lath plastered with a “concrete” made from Versabond brand thinset mortar (or the equivalent Mapei product) and unsealed aquarium gravel.

    Regular pea gravel is too large for the lath, and so aquarium gravel is used instead.

    The aquarium gravel must be real gravel, such as the quartz and chert gravel shown here and not sealed with polyurethane or some other coating:

  • Mosaic Planter Grouted in Sections

    Mosaic Planter Grouted in Sections

    Artist Donna Stern recently completed a round mosaic planter, which she grouted in sections.

    I wanted to share that work for several reasons, and not merely because it is solid work with an emphasis on primary colors with a good balance of warm and cool colors.

    There are several discussion points:

  • Mosaic Mural by Stages

    Mosaic Mural by Stages

    Artist Kim Kahrilas’ bunny mosaic mural uses pet portraits and children’s book illustrations for inspiration and demonstrates how you can create a larger project by making it in modules.

    Kim made the mosaic on sections of tile backer board, with each section or panel having it own composition: four separate stand-alone scenes featuring bunnies plus some more narrow divider panels and the grass underneath the other panels.

    Kim says that it took 2 years to complete the project and that looking back over the photos made her realize that she had completed a lot of other projects during that period.

  • Mosaic Mural on Tile Backer Board

    Mosaic Mural on Tile Backer Board

    Artists Patricia Cream and Leah Mitchell recently completed an outdoor mosaic mural mounted on foam-core tile backer board, and they took excellent photos of the work in progress.

    Each major step in the process is shown, including the french-cleat hanging brackets used to mount the mosaic to the cinder-block wall.

    The mosaic mural is also impressive. Patricia and Leah really capture the energy of a mixed wildflower garden with all the different textures and shapes and colors.

  • Two Mosaic Safety Tips

    Two Mosaic Safety Tips

    A stainless-steel ruler and a spray-bottle filled with water are all you need to avoid the most common injury and the most serious risk associated with creating mosaic artwork.